I have a SharePoint library that uses major and minor versions and has draft item security turned on so that Drafts are only visible to those with the Edit permission level.

What I want to do is publish documents in the library so that the document shows up in the list and everyone can see that it is there, but only certain people can open it to read the contents. The reason for this is that information is sensitive, but I want people to see that the document(s) exists to prevent it from getting lost, forgotten about, and just so people know what information is documented (even if it is not available).

This seems like it should be easy, but I haven't found a way to prevent a document from being readable without it being hidden in the library.

  • 2
    1. Break inheritance for each document 2. Add limited access to all users. Add read/view for required users. Hoping this works out Commented May 31, 2016 at 13:52
  • I can't specify limited access as a permission level, but I have tried breaking inheritance for the document and adding the correct permissions (Full Control for myself and Read for the necessary viewers). Unfortunately, this hasn't worked for me. People with no permissions specified are still able to open the document (possibly because the draft item security which shows Major versions to everyone is overriding the unique permissions -- I don't know if this is the case, but it could be possible).
    – hoffie4
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


How about making a separate list to use as a Table of Contents? Add an item with the information you need through workflow. Then simplify your permission logic on the actual document library to be only the people who need to interact with the document.


If all else fails, this can be done via code. A custom web part (or app part) could run with elevated permissions and could display the current list of documents, along with any desired metadata, such as last modified date, etc.

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